Sign In

    Knowing The Difference between Surface drains and French drains

    Last updated 4 years ago

    When dealing with excess moisture in the ground it is important to know the difference between a Surface drain and a French drain as they serve two very different purposes.

    Why would I need a surface drainage system??
    All homes require proper drainage. Homes that have poor drainage can heave. (i.e. if water ponds within 4 feet or so of the foundation after watering or rain) This heaving of the foundation causes stress to both the foundation and structure.

    What is a Surface Drainage System?
    A surface drainage system typically includes 9 inch by 9 inch or 12 by 12 inch area drains and 4 inch flexible PVC pipe. The system is used to collect water at ground level and channel it away from the home. If there is not enough natural grade to allow the water to gravity drain away, it may be necessary to install a sump and a pump system.

    Why would I need a French drain?
    ?A French drain is most commonly used to collect and channel ground water to keep it from going under the home. Ground water that travels under a slab foundation can cause a foundation to go up and down repeatedly which can cause foundation problems.

    What is a French Drain?
    ?A French drainage system typically consists of a deep trench (approximately 4 feet deep), a perforated 4" PVC pipe, a permeable wrap to go around the pipe, and gravel.  French drains are common drainage systems, primarily used to prevent ground water from migrating under the foundation.

    On occasion both types of drainage may be needed and a Combo Drain is installed. 

    What is a Combo Drain? 
    A Combo drainage system is a French drain and a Surface drain used in conjunction with each other in the same trench to remove excessive ground and surface water from around the foundation.

    If you have concerns that you might need drainage at your property, the analysts at Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc. are fully trained to provide a free evaluation, and prepare the proper repair plan to address your drainage and foundation needs.  Visit our website to learn more about our services.  To set up a free evaluation, call today at (972) 484-1200.

    How Are Piers Installed During Foundation Repair?

    Last updated 4 years ago

    In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, concrete pressed pilings are the most widely used method of foundation repairs for slab foundations. In fact, this type of pier was specifically designed for the expansive clay soils that are common to the DFW area. Here is a closer look at how piers are installed during foundation repair. 

    Digging the Hole
    First, a two foot square hole is dug by hand with a shovel. This hole will typically be four or five feet below ground level and will extend under the grade beam.

    Installing the Cylinders
    After the hole is dug and the grade beam is exposed, a pre-formed concrete cylinder is placed at the bottom of the hole directly beneath the grade beam. A hydraulic ram is then placed between the bottom of the grade beam and top of the concrete cylinder.  The ram will be engaged pressing the cylinder into the dirt. Cylinders will be added and pressed until the point of refusal  (where it takes more force to press the pilings deeper than it does to lift the house.)

    Fitting with a Cap
    After the pilings are pressed to refusal, they will be then be fitted with a concrete cap and additional cylinders. The house will then be lifted using bottle jacks to as near its original position as possible while minimizing unacceptable damage to the foundation or the structure. After the house is lifted, concrete blocks or steel shims are used to fill the gap between the grade beam and the piling and then the holes are backfilled and compacted.

    If you feel your home may be experiencing foundation problems, call Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc. today. We are an industry leading foundation repair companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Contact us online or call us today at (972) 484-1200. 

    A Look at Common Causes of Foundation Problems

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Foundation issues can be the underlying cause of inconveniences like creaky doors and sticking windows.  They can also lead to more serious structural issues. While most foundation problems can be repaired, it helps to have an understanding of what can cause foundation problems in the first place.  Some of the leading causes of foundation problems include: 

    Moisture Problems in the Soil
    Most foundation problems are caused by water, either too much or not enough.  In Texas, when the soil gets hot and dry, the soil shrinks, and then develops cracks that cannot support the weight of the structure, so it experiences settlement.  It then has to be mechanically raised and supported by piers.

    Conversely, if you have too much moisture in the soil, the clay can swell and cause foundation upheaval.  Methods of correction can include drainage systems and/or plumbing repairs,  just to name a few.

    Poor Construction
    When builders are prepping a pad site for new construction, they have to move dirt around. They either need to cut soil away because it is too high or they use fill dirt to address lower areas.  If the fill dirt is not properly compacted it is not uncommon to experience settlement in the early stages of a home’s life.

    The moisture content of the soil during the pouring of the slab is also important.   Average moisture is ideal.  If it is too dry, once it rains the level of moisture in the outside of the slab will be dramatically higher than the inside or underneath of the slab and it has the potential to heave the perimeter.  If you have too much moisture when you pour the slab, and then you experience hot dry temperatures, the slab may settle.

    A home that isn’t built with structural steel (i.e. rebar) is considered a sub-standard slab and has the potential to fail more quickly than a slab foundation that was constructed properly.

    No matter what the cause of your foundation issue, the experts at Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc. can evaluate the property for free and prepare a repair plan. Our foundation repair experts provide slab and pier and beam foundation repairs for residential and commercial properties throughout the DFW area. To learn more about our services, visit our website or call us at (972) 484-1200. 

    Foundation Repair and Your Home's Plumbing

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Anytime your home’s foundation settles or shifts, it can place stress on systems throughout your home. When a slab foundation settles, the plumping can be damaged. Plumping can also be damaged when you attempt to correct slope during repairs. For this reason,  Structured Foundation Repairs recommends that a Master Plumber test your home’s plumbing systems, both fresh and sewer, before and/or after a foundation repair job is completed. 

    Here at Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc., we can include plumbing tests completed by a third-party Master Plumber before and after we complete a foundation repair project. Since the average job takes between 1-2 days to complete, you will be able to get back to your normal routine in no time. Call Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc. at (972) 484-1200 to learn more about our foundation repair services

    Your Guide to Pier and Beam Foundation Repairs

    Last updated 4 years ago

    There are two base types of pier & beam foundations. Those with a concrete grade beam around the perimeter and those without.

    With a Concrete Perimeter Beam
    If a home has a concrete grade beam, the perimeter can be lifted using pressed pilings (steel or concrete).

    Adjusting Interior Floor Levels  
    The floors of a pier & beam house sit on beams (typically 6 in X 6in).  The beams are supported by “piers”.  These “piers” are typically either poured concrete piers, Bois d’Arc stumps, or pre-made concrete blocks.

    The floor levels can be adjusted by raising the beam off its support and adding or removing steel shims.  Sometimes supports (piers) need to be added or changed out if they have failed.

    Wood Replacement
    On a pier & beam foundation, it is often necessary to replace wood in the crawl space located under the floor.  The wood may be cracked or damaged due to moisture and/or insects.

    Ventilation Improvement 
    In a pier & beam foundation, adequate ventilation in the crawl space is required to minimize rotten wood and mold or fungus growth.  Vents and/or mechanical ventilation systems can be added to reduce moisture build up and stabilize humidity levels in the crawl space.

    Not all companies have the expertise necessary to repair a pier & beam foundation.  Fortunately, the employees of Structured Foundation Repairs, Inc specialize in these types of repairs.  To learn more about our foundation repairs services in the DFW area, give us a call at (888)459-6317 or visit our website.

Free Plumbing Test $150 Value!

With the purchase of 8 pier minimum in foundation repairs. Mention this offer in the email submission form.

  • Hours:

  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday
  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday
  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Wednesday
  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday
  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday


  • Recent Posts
    • Loading posts... Spinner
  • View All
  • Recent Comments
    • Loading comments... Spinner
  • Popular Tags
    • Loading tags... Spinner